I like to pretend that the builder wanted to show off his appreciation for these bricks by creating this wall sculpture just for me to enjoy along with him. Chances are these were surplus bricks bought at a discount.

I don't care. I am digging the wall like a big bad dog with a bone!

Spotted in Arnold at a low rent strip mall.



Riley's, corner of Arsenal and Arkansas in TGE.
What's behind the face bricks (or not).

DAMN, dude! Tossing bricks on the roof?
Seriously, I watched as the guy threw bricks over the tiles onto the roof.

DOUBLE DAMN, dude! Don't place that ladder on the falling wall! Go above the coping tiles and use a ladder stabilizer on this windy day!

Plaster lined chimney chase



I keep trying to imagine what the original woodwork looked like before it was demoed.

Killer brick work: corbels and cornice

Phenomenal glazed white coping tiles.

As I was taking this last photo the owner of the building pulled up. We chatted. I asked her if she did that vinyl siding, she said she'd never really noticed it and that the guy she bought it from 'fixed' it.


Glazed white bricks are crumbling in TGS

I've noticed many glazed white bricks are spalling in TGS. I haven't noticed this happening with the other color glazed bricks.

This is what is occurring: Rain gets in behind the fired front through the mortar joints. The expansion of freezing water breaches the top surface of the brick, leaving the inner surface exposed. The interior of these bricks were not fired and are beginning to crumble. With the surfaces opened up to water, and they will act like big sponges. They will eventually crumble completely.

How can these bricks be repaired?

Here's a photo of Gen Obata's porch in TGH that he just emailed for illustration.




Foot pad



I'm rather proud that I was able to take this photo when doing 60 down 55.

These are cedar trees and they are the first tree to colonize any rocky area that has been clear cut because of their shallow roots. This photo shows about fifteen years of growth.

Something to look forward to is the reforestation that will occur in 125 years.

Clouds at 141 and 55



This is a view of the second floor of my two family building. I don't have this woodwork downstairs but I have quicker access to the back yard which Beau appreciates.



Here's an astonishing find: black and plum color bricks on a side of a 50's building in TGS. I've named these skid mark bricks.

Added bonus is the original mortar mix with pebbles. BRAVA!



We must revisit these bricks which are of course my favorites!

This is some seriously heady stuff. From a distance of twenty feet they look solid black. Getting closer reveals various values of black with plum and blue.

How were these created? It had to do with the oxidizing conditions in the kiln, and creating sudden temperature increases in a process known as flashing.

Common constituents were added to the clay mixture to produce colors. This brick may have had iron oxide with manganese oxide added. Vegetable materials were also added with a sudden temperature increase.

People wonder why I'm always happy.


Perhaps this explains my fascination with face brick.

Enclosed in an email from Pat Fish:

From: Wordsmith
Date: January 21, 2008 9:02:24 PM PST
To: linguaphile@wordsmith.org
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--redbrick

This week's theme: words with color as metaphors.

redbrick (RED-brik) adjective

Lacking prestige.

[The term usually describes universities. A redbrick university is one built
in the UK after WWII, as opposed to the older prestigious institutions such
as Oxford and Cambridge. The term is mostly used in the UK. A contrasting
term in the US is Ivy League. An Ivy League university is one of several in
the northeastern US that have high prestige and a reputation for scholastic
achievement. The term alludes to the age of the universities reflected in
the ivy that festoons the outside walls of the buildings on campus.]



Perplexed about the style of architecture with this garage, I emailed my crony Bad Tim the Architect with the query.

Me: What the hell is this?
Tim: It's post-modern. it's a cheap and lazy version of neo-classical, intended to seem whimsical or ironic, but now mostly looking ridiculous.

Oh thanks. I spent years as a child admiring it but now the deal is queered.



Who's there?
Daddy who?
Leather queen.
Land shark...

Ack! Fake shutters.



Accordion brick.
Best of Show.

Black pitted brick pix'd at dusk.
1st place.

Bordered brick with pink mortar and tiny pebbles.
Second place.

Mixed color drag face bricks.
Third Place.

Of the group of photos below the charcoal color brick takes first place.

Gold brick pitted with black.
Honorable mention:

Cross hatch face brick with crappy mortar job.
Best design element.

Distressed brick with charcoal color, Morgan Ford Road.
Most Creative presentation:

Chunky 3-D brick located on the column at Connecticut and Roger.
Most formidable.

Red and Green Glazed brick.
Best seasonal presentation.



So I found another lump earlier this week while bathing and doing the self test business. Hell fire, I thought, this better not be cancer again. It's just so damned inconvenient. Further proof: the fact that my oncologist is on Ballas where I40 is no go.

My oncologist is shorter than me. She's also a hell of a lot more butch.
I swear she gets her hair hurt every two weeks; it's a perfect precision cut and it's expensive hair. I stare at her hair and her opulent eyeglasses while she studies my file. It's easy to stare at the top of her head since I'm perched on the table wearing a robe made from bleached paper that is silent when I open it. (While waiting for her to come into the micro room, I tossed it in the air like pizza dough and took photos. I get so bored with down time).

Everything about her is crisp. Her pressed button down shirt, the sharp cease in her pants, her hair cut and the brittle way she speaks. Strictly business, I've only seen her smile once when I congratulated her on her marriage (She married in Canada where same sex marriages are legal, imagine that)

Oh yeah, the lump.
I was sent to get an ultra sound today. I 'slipped into' another quiet paper robe and gazed at recessed incandescent light bulbs in the ceiling while tossing on the table. Dr Goodhope (that's her real name!) came in, looked at the screen the tech was working on and announced: Necrosis!

Benign?, I prompted as she watched the screen.
Yes benign, she answered distractedly.

(Thanks for answering I needed to inhale there.)

She excitedly asked the tech to remove my name from the images and make detailed photos so she could show her residents. I gazed at the light bulbs for another five minutes and took the time to tell them about using CFL and how I reduced my power bill from 70.00 monthly to 20.00.

I once explained to a man that breasts were nothing but fatty tissue, milk ducts and lymph nodes.
After a moment of silence he said, Thanks for ruining it for me.

From Google:
Fat necrosis is a benign breast condition whereby a firm lump forms in an area of fatty breast tissue that has been damaged (or, in my case, a tumor was removed along with half of my breast and the resulting surgery produced dead tissue). The nodules and plaques appear in the first several weeks of life. brownish color. This may be due to fat necrosis. The blood supply to fat is always poor and many events around the time of surgery can interfere with this.



Chris visits from the NW and brings Gerber daisies.

We've all had definitive moments or events that have shaped our lives and made us who we are. Most of this happens prior to becoming a teenager.

If you're fortunate, you may encounter a few others in your adult life who contribute to your awe of being alive by their mere physical presence. Because of your history together, you enjoy a special friendship that is mutually celebrated.

And you know where ever that person is, you are always considered, revered, understood, and appreciated.



Photo by Tom Kempland

When I was in college, I briefly worked on the S.S. Admiral.

I worked in a fairly large office that had a massive safe.
The first night on the job, I listened as other people answered the phone saying, "Purser's office." I thought they were saying first floor office.

Wouldn't you know, the phone rang while I was in the room alone. I answered, First floor office!

I was treated to a moment of silence then heard crabby Captain Streckfus bellow in my ear: This is a ship! There aren't floors on a ship, its a deck! You are in the First Deck Purser's Office!

My hair was standing up. Not knowing what else to do I hung up on him.
Oh, but it felt sweet.




Click to enlarge!

These carved wood capitals make me shudder with appreciation. It's seriously almost too rich to behold in person (if you can ignore the home depot storm doors).